Kirsten Bosly never strayed from her beach routine. “I’d wear board shorts over my bathing suit because I hated my belly and thighs,” the Perth, Australia-based blogger tells Us Weekly. “Then I’d pick a spot that wasn’t too close to anyone else as I don’t like people looking at me. People have said nasty things to me in the past.”
During a recent family vacation, however, the mom of Beckett, 8, and Bronte, 5, forgot to pack her trusty cover-ups. Bosly chronicled what happened next in a now-viral Facebook post on January 8.
“Today marks a new beginning for me. For most of my life I have hated my body. Despised it. Loathed it. Resented it. Wanted so very much for it to change; for it to be smaller, thinner … less ‘fat,’” wrote the 41-year-old. “I’ve been terribly ashamed of its wobbles and dimples; like somehow they are the measure of who I am.”
“I recently read a meme that said something along the lines of ‘be in pictures with your kids because when you’re gone, the pictures will be all they have left,’ and it struck a nerve,” she continued. “I’ve avoided pictures most of the time as I disliked how I look in them. Not anymore! Bugger that noise! The truth is, I’m tired of being ashamed of my body; it’s done nothing but support me for 41 years.”
That’s when Bosly asked her husband, Brian Shaw, to snap a photograph. “No cover up. No board shorts. No ‘modesty’ towel. No filters. Just us,” she wrote. “And you know what? I’m not ashamed. Really. I look at this photo and all I can see is how happy we are and that’s awesome.”
The internet agreed. Since sharing the post, Bosly has been overwhelmed with words of support. “I’ve received messages from moms who’ve lost children and have hardly any photos with them because of their own self-esteem issues,” Bosly tells Us. “I have been called brave, which is a gorgeous compliment but … I find it sad that a plus-size woman wearing a one-piece at the beach is considered an act of bravery. It didn’t feel brave. It just felt freeing!”